Replication control of autonomously replicating human sequences.
Three autonomously replicating plasmids carrying human genomic DNA and a vector derived from Epstein-Barr virus were studied by density labelling to determine the number of times per cell cycle these plasmids replicate in human cells. Each of the plasmids replicated semi-conservatively once per cell cycle. The results suggest that these human autonomously replicating sequences undergo replication following the same controls as chromosomal DNA and represent a good model system for studying chromosomal replication. We also determined the time within the S phase of the cell cycle that three of the plasmids replicate. Centromeric alpha sequences, which normally replicate late in S phase when in their chromosomal context, were found to replicate earlier when they mediate replication on an extrachromosomal vector. Reproducible patterns of replication within S phase were found for the plasmids, suggesting that the mechanism specifying time of replication may be subject to experimental analysis with this system.
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